China TIF committee reviews mission statement

by Mary Grow

China’s Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Committee members covered two of the three items on their March 24 agenda, without reaching final agreement on either.

Committee members reviewed the committee’s Mission Statement, last written in August 2018, and the application form for organizations seeking TIF funds. Both will be back for reconsideration at their April 20 meeting, along with the procedures document they did not discuss March 24.

Chairman Thomas Michaud had the 2018 statement and proposed revisions from committee members James Wilkens and Robert MacFarland. Most of the discussion was over how specific the statement should be, with detours into whether it is a mission statement or a vision statement, and how large the committee should be.

Discussion of the application form was more complicated, beginning with whether to set an application deadline and if so, what it should be. Suggestions ranged from January to August, for requests for the fiscal year that would start the next June.

Committee members are effectively dealing with three timelines. They need to have requests for TIF money early in the calendar year, so they can develop a budget request for the following fiscal year by March.

After town voters approve the budget at the annual town meeting in the spring, committee members need to recommend specific expenditures from TIF funds to the Selectboard, which authorizes issuing checks. And the date at which money will actually be given to requesting groups depends on fund availability.

Central Maine Power Company provides TIF funds through taxes paid on its north-south power line in China and its South China substation. Like other taxpayers, CMP pays twice a year; if voters approve selectmen’s recommendations for the coming fiscal year, local taxes will be due Sept. 30, 2021, and March 31, 2022.

Committee members also talked about what information should be requested on an application form. They left almost all their questions to be resolved at their next meeting, scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 20.

At earlier meetings this year, committee members developed a Second Amendment to China’s TIF document, including a fund request for 2021-22. The document and fund request are in Art. 16 of the town meeting warrant on which voters will act June 8. Public hearings, on the Second Amendment and on the rest of the warrant, are scheduled to start at 6 p.m. Monday, April 26, before that evening’s selectmen’s meeting.


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